2/18/2014 4:06 P.M. ET
Bruce prioritizes feeling good over losing weight
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- This offseason was pretty much a routine one at home in Houston for Reds right fielder Jay Bruce. Following a month off, weightlifting began the first week of November and baseball activity commenced after Christmas.
The one difference this time? Bruce didn't slim down like in years past and made no changes to his weight. That was entirely by design.
"I'm not as light but I still feel great," Bruce said Tuesday. "I really stopped worrying about my weight so much and focused rather on how I felt. I just let my performance, the strength, the way I was able to move and run and stuff like that, tell me what I needed to know."
Bruce, who weighed 217 pounds last season, batted .262 with a .329 on-base percentage, 30 home runs and a career-best 109 RBIs in 160 games.
"I'm about where I was, weight-wise, at the end of the year," said Bruce, who turns 27 in April. "Not a ton of change. In years past, I was really focused on losing weight. I'm just getting in the best shape that I could. I think the biggest thing is applying the strength. ... These days, it's more about the functional strength and using it rather than just getting big, bulky and strong."
Bruce was the latest early arrival to Reds camp, which is scheduled to have all position players report Wednesday for physicals and the first full-squad workout.
"My offseason was great. I am ready to go," Bruce said. "It's exciting to be back. Different look this year, that's exciting as well. I look forward to the next month and a half, for everybody to get on the same page and we'll get this train rolling in the right direction."
Latos doing well in recovery from knee surgery
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds pitcher Mat Latos has continued to rehab and progress since having left knee surgery Friday. Latos had an operation after he tore meniscus cartilage while throwing early last week.
"He'll be fine," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "I just talked to Doc [Dr. Tim Kremchek] and he said he was good."
Following the procedure, Latos was expected to resume a throwing program in 10 days. He's already been walking without crutches, nor a noticeable limp.
Reds waiting for specifics on home-plate rule
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A Major League Baseball rules committee voted in December to outlaw home-plate collisions. Final approval and implementation of the rule has yet to be completed.
At Cardinals Spring Training in Florida, manager Mike Matheny has already begun teaching his catchers new techniques in anticipation of the rule change that could require runners to either slide or avoid the catcher before touching the plate.
Thus far in Reds camp, there have been no new teachings for the catchers in advance of the potential rule change.
"I don't know if this is going to evolve into an accepted rule or not," Reds manager Bryan Price said Tuesday. "We understand that they're working towards that. What you'll find is there is definitely a huge appreciation for the fact that we want to keep our players healthy. The other side of that is now does that increase the chance of the baserunners getting hurt trying to zigzag their way out of catchers that come into the baseline because of an errant throw?
"We don't know what the ground rules will be for any type of rule that evolves with this. But I think it's going be, I think, very difficult to introduce and enforce. It would be interesting. I hope it doesn't evolve terribly quickly, myself."
Price appreciates camp's early arrivals
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A number of Reds position players have arrived early to camp in recent days ahead of Wednesday's full-squad report date -- including returning players like Todd Frazier, Billy Hamilton, Zack Cozart, Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey and Jack Hannahan.
New players like Skip Schumaker, Chris Nelson and Jason Bourgeois have also come in early and gotten to work. While manager Bryan Price has spent much of his time with the pitchers and catchers who reported Friday, he has been to the back fields and hitting cages to look in on the early arrivals.
"No. 1, it's been a nice commitment seeing guys out here early," Price said Tuesday. "Some of the new guys ... are coming out here to get acclimated to the new surroundings and their teammates. It's been exciting. I think we've done a really good job of bringing in good, competitive big league players. Not many of them are going to make our club but they're going to make us better because eventually, we're going to need them."